Around August last year, I was living in Valencia and went to Madrid for the weekend. As I was aimlessly walking down Gran Via — the main commercial street in Madrid’s city center — I distinctly remember thinking “I could live here”. A few months later I moved and it was one of the best decisions I made.
Being someone who lately has been repelling anything big and mercantile, it’s funny I had that thought on Gran Via, of all other places in the city.
There’s this inanely rare charm that street eludes.
It’s high-street-big-city-for-tourists bustling, but it also radiates something that pins it down as being traditionally Spanish.
Often referred to as the ‘Spanish Broadway’, perhaps it’s early 20th century buildings, no skyscrapers, and nonchalant nature dampens it’s commercial side, making it an unexpected representation of Madrid as Spain’s traditional capital.
I can’t put my finger on what exactly allures me about this street, but it’s the reason I moved here.
On the 100th anniversary of Gran Via’s conception, the newspapers splattered the history and development of the street over the last century.
Haven’t seen it in the international press, but for those interested who don’t speak Spanish, you can check out this “Madrid in Black and White” gallery of the Gran Via that takes you through its historical significance.
[Via El Mundo]